Popular Music graduate takes The Guardian Playlist top spot

02 December 2021

Hockeysmith single cover with girl sat on the floor

BA Popular Music graduate Annie Hockey-Smith, who makes fascinating techno-infused tunes under the moniker Hockeysmith, took the number one spot on The Guardian Playlist with her track It’s Happening.

What started as a teenage project between Annie and her sister Georgie has developed over recent years into a largely solo affair. From her static Winnebago in Cornwall to Copenhagen and Paris, Annie divides her time between the three locations, and the sounds of Hockeysmith are resultantly eclectic and expansive.

Released on a double A side on 25 November this year on her own record label EEL, It’s Happening / You’re Happening both stem from a Copenhagen stint back in 2017. Annie told us: “After a few years and coming back to them, we realised there was nothing we wanted to change about the tracks or the mix. The raw and unfinished feel are what makes the tracks pure and unique, captured in a bubble of time”.


It’s Happening, which came together in its final form in Annie’s Winnebago, piqued the interest of The Guardian’s music critics for its “clattering jungle, subaquatic bass and chuntering techno rattle”. On taking the top spot, Annie said: “It feels great to be recognised by The Guardian and beat some big names to the number 1 spot, especially for a song that I’ve released on my own label and coming from a sleepy town in Cornwall. I love my creative lifestyle here and it shows it’s still possible to stand out”.

Immersed in the underground post-rave scene of the West Country, Hockeysmith’s previous releases include Tears At My Age and the recent Sorrelful and Down Love. The recent endorsement from The Guardian follows previous high-profile kudos from Aphex Twin and Disclosure, the latter of which sampled Annie’s vocals from It’s Happening on their recent album Never Enough.

Hockeysmith will be performing at this week’s Live from Studio K showcase. You can watch the performance here. 

You might also like